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Thread: Fort Lee, VA

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    #1

    Question Fort Lee, VA

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    Anyone live there or has lived there? Just wanted to get a few opinions on the base housing and local schools, CDC and things like that.

    (I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum for this kind of thing but I couldn't find a more appropriate place to put it. I swear there used to be a section just to talk about other bases and I can't seem to find it.)

    Thanks in advance for any input.


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    Fort Lee is near Petersburg. They are, quite frankly, the worst schools in the state. I am a public school teacher, I believe strongly in the public schools in this country and overall I think the Virginia Public School System is one of the better ones in the country. If I had to live in Petersburg, I would seriously consider placing my children in private schools.

    That being said, there are some very, VERY cool homes in P'burg. It's an old, old town, one of the railroad stops for Civil War troop replenishment. Lots of very cool history, both Revolutionary War and Civil War. I would probably look fo housing to the west of town, out Route 460 if I was thinking of buying.

    In Virginia, you can look at schools' report cards and get info on test pass rates, school safety, etc. http://www.petersburg.k12.va.us/ Being stationed there isn't an educational death sentence, you just have to do your own homework to make sure you live in an area where the schools will be suitable. Let me know if there's any specific information you'd like.
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    #3
    I fully agree with eelo on this

    Ft Lee is a great base with so many options of places to live, things to do and so on.

    If it were me, I would go with Chesterfield county and maybe even Prince George. Both have good school systems. I grew up in Chesterfield and went to school there so I can attest to that area
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    #4
    Oh...the best CDC we came across in that area was over at DSCR which is North Chesterfield/South Richmond area. Depending on location of home and job it may or may not be convienent.
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    Thanks ladies. It's exactly the type of first hand info I was hoping for. I'm especially concerned with schools because Charlotte will be starting kindergarten there if we push forward with one of the few options we're tossing around.

    We could rent our home and live on base there but if selling is the better option so that we can move to a nearby town rather than living on base we'll look into that more seriously.

    We're going to spend some time visiting the area and looking at schools, homes, etc. when Mike returns from his deployment. We loved Richmond when we were there for a wedding last year and are excited to see what VA has to offer.


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    Midge... when are yall due to pcs there?

    we are headed that way for dh's career course. his training starts in Feb 2010 but we have requested to move this December!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by settles View Post
    Midge... when are yall due to pcs there?

    we are headed that way for dh's career course. his training starts in Feb 2010 but we have requested to move this December!
    Nothing's set in motion yet. Mike's considering putting in his package to teach at the tech school for his career field which recently moved there. He thinks if we decide quick enough, we can be moved before next August.

    I'm just gathering info right now. Still a lot of what if's lingering about.


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    #8
    I found this on the Post Guides on marriedtothearmy.com
    Base Name: Fort Lee, Virginia

    Base Location: Virginia just 35 min south of Richmond in Prince George County.

    How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present) Feb 2006 - Sept 2007
    What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?

    Majority of the housing on post is fairly new minus some in the process of being torn down. I live in Madison Park which is one of the newest being only a year old. I was the first to live in this place.

    Off-post I feel staying OUT of Petersburg would be the most ideal. Petersburg is known for high crime, shootings, drugs ETC. The education system in Petersburg is also one of the worst in the entire state!

    BAH isn't enough to cover rent if you need more than 3 bedrooms, or if you want a nice place. You can pretty much expect to live in an apartment or duplex off post. Hopewell is pretty nasty, as most military towns are. Hopewell is nicer than Petersburg by far yet I wouldn't personally live there. Prince George is half nice and half not. I don't recommend the public school systems, but if forced to choose I would reside in some parts of Prince George, some parts of Chester and Colonial Heights. I paid to send my kid to private school at a price I would have paid more to live off post.

    Average rent for Petersburg is about 800, Hopewell about 800 and nicer areas start around 1000 (low) to easy 1300 a month for a nice place.

    Housing list is extremely long, some waiting over 2 years for 2-3 bedrooms!
    The only way to know if you want to live somewhere in my opinion is to check the school systems out
    www.greatschools.net and you can even search before you sign a lease!

    Rate the PX & Commissary.
    The people who work at the Commissary are extremely RUDE. I cannot tell you how many times I have had problems with not just baggers, but cashiers etc. The commissary is probably the cheapest route, although the 24hr super walmart is nice too! The price difference truly isn't that much unless you shop on sales and coupons at the commissary.

    The PX leaves you feeling empty. Not much worth inside, smaller stock of regular items and screwy hours. There is a class 6 yet it closes early. There is also a PXtra which has the military clothing attached and its our version of a shoppette. The PXtra/shoppette has a tiny food court and a couple junk shops. They close early and lack the luster of other places we've lived.

    Activities on base?
    There is a pool, movie theater, bowling and some other basics. Not much entertainment in my opinion. The MWR tries to have activities, although I cannot see dragging my young children out past 8 pm to see a free old movie.

    Active Spouses Club? I would have to be extremely honest and say the FRG's are absolutely pathetic. They are the worst I have ever seen (I have been stationed places that could fit in housing here and were more accommodating!)
    Things to do in area? Williamsburg is only 45 min away giving you the option to outlet shop, go visit historical Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA ( herosalute.com has info on how to go once with a total of 4 people for free!!) Jamestown/Yorktown. Next is Virginia Beach about 2 1/2 hrs, Norfolk about 2 hrs and Richmond 35 min away. You also have Washington DC being only 2 1/2 hrs away. North of Richmond is Kings Dominion amusement park. Lots of historical places to see and tons of free parks to visit. Maymont park in Richmond is worth the drive. Full of water attractions, beautiful landscape, gardens and maybe even someone on a horse or a few!
    There is also the Richmond International Speedway for Nascar fans (which I am not) and FT Lee sends soldiers up there often. It's free to active duty.

    This area does offer PLENTY of attractions, so many I cannot name them all!


    School System? I do NOT recommend ANYTHING within 30 min unless it's private. Even with private do your homework at www.Greatschools.net

    Any colleges in area? There are quite a few! Depending on what you're interested in depends on where to go! Check out the ED Center on post. They are extremely helpful!

    Jobs? (on post and off) I cannot imagine much on post, and there are plenty of places to work off!

    Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city? Anywhere within 45 min away is nice in comparison to this place!

    Least favorite aspect? Terrible support from units, FRGS and over-crowding.
    Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.) http://www.city-data.com/city/Fort-Lee-Virginia.html , http://www.qmmuseum.lee.army.mil/ ,
    http://www.narmc.amedd.army.mil/kenner/ medical on post is a joke. No on post hospital or emergency care. TERRIBLE SERVICE!
    http://www.leemwr.com/
    http://www.lee.army.mil/

    Vet services leave much to desire also!

    Any other tips? Lots of AIT students and avoid this place UNLESS you have a personal tie to the area!
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    #9
    That's a ton of helpful stuff! Thank you! A lot of it sounds similar to where we are now. lol.

    I took a quick look at homes for sale in Chesterfield and liked what I found. We've got our work cut out for us, that's for sure.


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